One of the most common questions and misconceptions is on the topic of an iodine overload vs a detox symptom from iodine pushing out toxic halides.  The root of the issue is a mass misunderstanding of iodine in general.  There is a fear that runs rampant – especially in the medical community.  It’s needless, honestly!  It all stems from the Wolff Chaikoff Effect that was later retracted but few knew about it because it was hidden in a later scientific publication.  The follow up article did not get as much attention as the first article.

What is detoxing?   It’s something that occurs in the body when toxins are being pushed out.  Those who have the most issues are individuals with a  sluggish liver and/or kidney pathways and those with adrenal fatigue as well as low thyroid.  Adrenals and thyroid go hand in hand.  When one is low it draws off the other.  When the body is stressed, the adrenals get stressed.  Detoxing stresses the body and this results in the adrenals having to deal with the added stress.

The following list is a compilation of the potential symptoms of detox that may be experienced when first taking iodine.

Symptoms of Bromide Toxicity / Detox Reactions
a. Skin Rash
b. Acne – Bromoderma
c. Chery Angiomas
d. Loss of appetitie
e. Abdominal pain
f. Fatigue
g. Metallic taste
h. Psychiatric issues
i. Headache
j. Tremors
k. Impaired Memory / Concentration
l. Abnormal Pigmentation
m. Slurred Speech
n. Emotional instability
o. Hair Loss
p. Vision Changes
q. Depression
r. Runny Nose
s. Disturbance of color perception
t. Schizophrenic like actions
u. Reflex Changes
v. Sensitivity to light
w. Hallucinations
x. Diarrhea / Constipation
y. Eyelid Twitching
z. Dream Changes
aa. Increased salivation
bb. Extensor Plantar Responses
cc. Kidney Pain
dd. Dry Mouth
ee. Body Odor / Sweating

** List quoted from “Gulflink Military document – Chapter on Bromism”
This list is in no way an all-inclusive list of issues. It is a list of issue identified within a government document that acknowledges that the issue is real.

So what can be done when experiencing one or more of these symptoms?

First, it’s important to support your detox pathways.

Supporting the Detox Pathways
How does the body detox?
1. Skin
2. Lymphatic System
3. Liver
4. Kidney
5. Intestinal System

The liver performs a 2 phase detoxification process:

Phase 1 – This phase consists of oxidation reduction and hydrolysis. Simply put it takes a toxic chemical and turns it into a non-toxic one.

Phase 2 – This pathway is called the conjugation pathway where the liver cells add another substance (like cysteine, glycine or a sulphur molecule) to a chemical that is toxic to the body that renders it less harmful. This makes the toxin water soluble so that it can be excreted easily from the body through the water containing fluids like bile or urine.

The following chart outlines the nutrients required by each phase to function at optimum levels
as well as some supporting nutrients to assist the process.

Phase 1Phase 2
Vitamin B2, B3, B6 and B12Vitamin B5, B12
Folic Acid (L-5- Methyltetrahyrofolate
better form – especially for MTHFR
Folic Acid (L-5- Methyltetrahyrofolate
better form – especially for MTHFR
Citrus BioflavonoidsMagnesium
Vitamin AMethionine
Vitamin CVitamin C
Vitamin D3Taurine
Vitamin ECysteine
Milk ThistleCalcium d-glucorate
N-aceytl cysteineAmino Acids:
Quercetin L-Carnitine
Cruciferous vegetables (sulfur
N-aceytl cysteine

When starting to supplement and having some minor issues like headaches or joint pain, salt loading (1 tsp of salt in warm water) can assist. If it persists then more magnesium and Vit C often relieves the symptoms. If they continue after these two strategies have been tried then Pulse Dosing is the next line of defense. This is where the individual takes Iodine and the Supporting Nutrients (see the guide to supplementing) for a few days and then takes a few days off of the iodine only and continues to take the supporting nutrients. If all of these fail to resolve the issues then a more intense detox support protocol as defined above would be needed.

Iodism in the doses taken for the protocol are difficult if not impossible to obtain. In most cases it is an un-diagnosed detox or adrenal issue. The body is equipped to flush out the iodine it cannot absorb and use so the risk of build up is moot.

So grab your iodine and push through, support your adrenals and detox pathways and wait for the amazing benefits of iodine.